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Manhood

Boys talk about fighting.
Men fight.
A real man will not hurt another person
without having been hurt himself
and when he does hurt another
he will recognize the hurt he’s caused himself
and his family
and the world
and he will carry the hurt with him

Forever.

Boys talk about fighting
and nobility
and honor
as if they go together
rather than
being a tiny trickle
in a great ocean.

Honor is not angry
nobility is not strong
I’ve learned how to recognize
the boys,
as I’ve grown up myself
and left my boy, to walk with me

Behind.
Always a reminder and playmate,
Seldom the leader.

Boys, you boys, you silly boys,
there is nothing wrong with boys
the only problem is the monster
who strangles the boy
with the noose of his father.

Boys will be boys.
There is no escape,
because they must.
The only question is
who will step in,
not to proclaim boyhood
and point,
but to demonstrate manhood,
so the boys can find
the only way,

ever.

You Are Different

Someone is planning for war.
Someone who thinks
it’s the best option.
Someone is planning to send
children to kill children.
Someone is planning on
a justification so complete
as to make those giving everything
feel as if they haven’t done enough
it’s like concrete, our ideals
frozen
immoveable
sure
strong
impenatrable

We have been so completely
trained in our indolence
and prefer the comfort
that our concretized ideas
provide
and we don’t ask ourselves
what our shelter
is actually providing.

The weak minded
gloat over what they
call victory,
while the cowardly
follow.

Don’t mistake,
we are all weak minded
and cowardly.

Like children.

Except for you.
You are different.

And I Am With Him

There is a boy,
and he is as real
as rain
as water falling
down mountains,
he is real.

I look at him
he looks at me
he looks to me
he looks for answers
at first I don’t think I have them
any of them
at first and forever
I forget that I am him
I forget that I am alive
I forget I am a human
on this earth
with this most gracious life
most vibrant life
most awake life
most joyful life

I forget,

and I am
and have,
tricked myself
into believing I have
no answer
into believing
I am at a loss in the world
for my way
I am tricked
and I trick myself
into believing that
I am not a king
a queen
a god
an earthworm
a boy
a man
a seagull
a chickadee
a song
mist
smoke
love.

There is a boy
he is real,
as real as rain
as water falling down mountains.

I remember
and I am with him
and there are no answers.

And I am with him.

Where Love Lives

I said NO to my son

With full meaning

And commitment

And love,

Not for him,

For me and for life,

And so for him.

I didn’t help him

And so I helped him the most.

He only understood the feeling

Of not being helped

He did not understand the lesson

And that doesn’t matter

Because I did

And that’s my job

His job is to be upset

And to not understand

My job is to say no because

I love myself

And want to teach him

How that exists.

How.

How.

And so I feel the pain

Of NO

I feel the pain of my son

Feeling his pain

Feeling un helped

Feeling confused

I feel the pain of my own

Contradictions and

Hypocrisy

I feel the pain of his pain

And I do nothing

To relieve it

But also I do nothing

To make it greater

I am there with him

As me

As observer

And protector

And I am not deterred

From the lesson by his pain

And I am, while all of this

Is happening

In love.

Mother’s Rage

Why do you argue with your boys?
why do you insist they argue with you?

Let the little ones lie
let them be their imperfect selves,
it might be good for you to see
the reality,
they are you
and no amount of arguing
will change it.

Why do Mothers have so much trouble
with their boys
And blame it
on their boys
As if the boys are not paintings
they, themselves, have created.

Every stroke, every color, every texture
is from the artist
the painting belongs to the artist
and the artist raging
against their own brush strokes
is insanity

In our world today
it’s sanctioned insanity
allowed, encouraged to be written about
and complained about
and argued about.

A more honest approach would be
to rage in a dark room against yourself
but maybe there’s too much of that already
and so the mothers choose
to rage at their creations
because it feels better for them.

Mothers Rage At Their Creations!

Pressing The Grapes 3.7

Pressing the Grapes.
I hope you are moved…

Femalehttps://t.co/GMYIJiB5Jz

Suicidehttps://t.co/KqShmlt1Qy

Pridehttps://t.co/QU7N3YTXne

Beauty and Humanityhttps://t.co/e0YJzRzRnU

— Damon Brink (@damonswhirled) March 7, 2019

Sneaky

I’m wary of love.
Sneaky.
Always hiding around corners
patient, patient
Always feeling so, so,
you know…

Deep.

I’m not quite sure of this life stuff.
you know what I mean?
It’s just suffering at the heart
All in between.

I shamed my son today,
like an arrow to my chest
I didn’t even know
I was so caught up
in the best.
It’s the worse thing I’ve ever done
And still I fear I won’t atone,
this is the darkness,
This is alone.

And in usual I would befall,
To months and years of terror
where shame and pride
they mock me
so completely with out error.

But nigh,
this night upon me,
Where the winds have buffed the clouds
And the Mountains reach above
And the moon, she shines aloud.
Not this night, around me
it won’t be that way tonight
Because, my son
the son of myself
I’ve not yet begun to fight
But only just now,
I recognized
The bright and shining light
That is bigger than all you think
and imagine
but it’s dark as night!

Or through the dark,
I should rightly say
From the dusking to the the light
when pink sunlight kissed the mount
on a bright and shining morn,
There was a freshness to the day
at the same time,
Time to mourn.

Time to mourn
Is vital. It’s the only thing that’s real,
Or at least that you can be sure of,
that and how you heal.
because despite all that you don’t believe
and all you say you do
and between all the bullshit printed
in ink and in your brain
It’s a wonder, no a certainty
that you’ll go insane.

And that’s just what has happened,
And that’s just what we’ll do,
If people don’t start waking up
And seeing what to do.
And some are there but most are not
and none have any clue.

But what’s that matter,
when you’ve shamed your son,
and killed a part of you?

Toxic Masculinity Does Not Exist, Part 452

Part 452 in the ongoing series of debunkment.

And before starting, a disclaimer: Looking for men and women who want to put down their assumptions, and deal with the painful reality that is the present. This means examining your own objections, feelings and actions before you point out others. I call these people Allies. We need more Allies.

It doesn’t matter what other people are saying. It doesn’t matter what you’re seeing on TV or in the latest video or social media post (including this one), all that matters is that you want to strive for a better relationship with the opposite sex (of yourself). Basically we’re all at least 49% gay so if you’re at war with the opposite sex, you’re at war with yourself. That’s kind of a joke…but maybe you get my point.

Why should you listen to me about it anyway? Only because I have a penis and have been socialized and biologized as if I have a penis, so I’m an authority on that. I’m an authority on what it means to be socialized and biologized with a penis. This means if there’s anyone out there who hasn’t been Socialized or Biologized with a penis and they’d like to know about it, I’m a good person to ask. The other option is make up a story that you know what it’s like to have a penis and then to take a bunch of actions based on that made up story.

For me, I want to improve the relationship with myself and others, specifically the female. I want there to be less violence in the world and so I want there to be less violence in me, first. I’m really looking for females and males who want this to and are willing to engage around a set of principles that would allow exploration foremost and that would make judgement and justification silly remnants of immaturity.

If you’re a male and you’re bored and frustrated with the same female drive, cliched narrative, then it means you’re going to have to change some things, you’re going to have to step out of the comfort zone of withdrawing yourself in order to avoid the responsibility of disagreement and of owning your own virtue and value. I’ve found it helps to have other men around you to help with this. Males are so used to being a lone and so comfortable with it that we need help to come back to ourselves and begin the process of balancing out the narrative. Because honestly guys, the female narrative is not wrong, but it’s not right either, it’s just half the story masquerading as the full story because we haven’t been willing to take the pain of confronting the female process with compassion and in a masculine way. We’ve contributed to this vacuum of masculinity and it’s time to stop.

If you’re a female the first thing is to get honest. Do you actually want things to change for boys and girls, or just for girls. Do you actually want things to get better for men and women, or just for women. If you’re answer is just or primarily for girls and women, then I challenge you to figure out how that is a humane thing. I understand if what you want is to get back at all the men who have hurt you, but revenge (justified or not) is not a useful method for improving relationships. If you do get honest, you’re going to see that there’s only one way to improvement, and that’s going internal and finding what’s underneath all that rage. From my perspective this requires trust, trust that if you get in touch with and expose the little girl of you that’s been hurt, that’s been let down, you’re not going to be punished for it. There’s very few things men can actually offer women (and vis-a-versa) but one of them (and it can only be offered by a man, not a boy) is the gentle guidance and promise that your little girl is safe with us. There is no hope if women aren’t willing to get into that space to contemplate and act.

And guys…did you hear me…there is no hope if we don’t do whatever is necessary to help women get into that space. When women are in their vulnerability, in their innocence and are encouraged rather than threatened, they can apply their wisdom and vision and they can help men to heal. Without vulnerable women you will not have healthy men.

So not sure how this is all going to come across to you, the reader but if you’re reaction is angry…consider it a gift and go find out who you really are. I’m going to do that after I go beat my dog!

Good Men Don’t Agree With Women

Ok, ok, don’t freak! (Ladies)

But really I find this to be true in general. It could mean that I’m not a good guy but if that’s true, well then, I guess I’m no worse off then I’ve ever been, so here goes…

Men and women are different, if you haven’t heard. I think the difference between the male and female is the ultimate difference, there’s nothing that’s more different than that difference.

You can interpret that difference in two ways. The first way is to feel hopeless and afraid that you’re not enough or that someone has something that you can’t or don’t have, to come at it as if you’re a beggar and need something from someone else to be ok. The second way is to see it as an opportunity to discover lands that are as unexplored to you as the universe, to become an explorer, an adventurer and realize that right here on this earth we are each guides for the others to become tourists and citizens of ourselves.

When you hear that the difference between male and female is the ultimate difference in existence, do you look at that from fear or love?

This is from love.

Good men do not agree with women, in general. This is a philosophical argument so if you want to argue with all the instances where that statement isn’t true you might be frustrated with this, but if you take it as a thought and emotional experiment it might have some value, I think it does.

The way it works, for me, is that it’s a struggle. Constant struggle of not understanding how women work, why the work, what they’re talking about, why they’re talking about and what the hell to do about any of that. I simply do not understand. But I love women. I love my my wife. I love my female friends, in spite of and in some ways because of my lack of understanding of them and their motivations. Somehow it still works and it’s taken me all of my life so far to get to the point where I have begun to accept that I have not the first idea about what really goes on in a females head beyond brilliant colors and explosions of chaos, thoughts and feelings a million times per minute.

Generally I do not agree with women. The men I talk to, do not generally agree with women. It’s not in our foundation to agree with women. Fundamentally it’s important that we don’t agree with women. What males have, typically called Masculinity, is sacred, precious and completely unique. What females have, Femininity, is sacred, precious and completely unique.

***This next part is for women and men who can look at things from love and not fear. If you read it from a fear based place you will feel defensive and miserable. If you read if from a love based place…well…try it***

The problem with the current dialogue, #Me Too, Toxic Masculinity and the current blame culture is that a lot of males are agreeing with women. What’s the problem with that? The problem is that by those males agreeing with women it obscures the responsibility of the males who are agreeing. Let me put this another way…

FEMALES, you are not wrong! Not at all. It’s always time to be more caring, gentle, strong, peaceful and compassionate. No humans, ideally, should be subject to might is right violence and abuse. If anyone is getting beat up, emotionally, physically or thought wise, they should speak up and try to fix it and dare I say, be supported. But that doesn’t mean that it’s right or even positive for men to agree with the way you’re going about trying to bring your experiences into the world.

A good man will disagree with a woman and NOT act like a heathen or a barbarian. A good man will hear a woman, judge for himself and adjust his behavior appropriately, if need be, and he will determine the need. A good man, if he succumbs to violence, as every human being, male and female has done at some point and most will continue to do despite their best efforts, until they die, will address the violence, make it right, if he can and work on himself to strengthen himself against it. But a good man does not agree with a woman.

So we arrive back at #Me Too and Toxic Masculinity, back to one side of the struggle which is justified and right and good; let’s raise awareness about violence against women so that we can better address it and work to stop it. Women are right to feel this way but they feel this way because they’re women, because they have a unique, sacred experience of the world.

The toxic message here is coming from Men. Let me be clear that men are not toxic and masculinity is not toxic and there is nothing real called toxic masculinity but the message…the message that there is something real called toxic masculinity and that “men” agree with that, that is what’s toxic.

This is how males are avoiding their responsibility for positively contributing to a solution that women are so clearly bringing up, do you see women? Do you see that by males agreeing with your process of blame and finger pointing (which may not be preferable or generally good but is, none-the-less true from your perspective) they don’t have to look inward at their own behavior. They’ve created a straw man on which to put all of their personal vulnerability, weakness, pride and violence. If there’s such a thing as toxic masculinity, well then, I can’t really help it.

Unfortunately (in this specific scenario) females have a generally forgiving and accepting nature and accept that from men. You females accept that men agreeing with your process means they’re on your team, on your side. I’m hear to tell you that they’re not. They’re not on your side at all. The men that agree with you on the process of #Me Too and Toxic Masculinity are not on your side, they are on their own side. They are opportunistic, just like Gillette is opportunistic. Is that what you want for your partner? Is that how you want your husband to act? Is that they type of behavior you want to teach your son or daughter? To be opportunistic, to seek the shallow, cowardly space of agreement rather than to seek the truth of disagreement and peace! That’s right…disagreement AND peace. It’s much harder but it’s what’s necessary if we want to really evolve as a species together.

We have different universes inside us, males and females. We can either be beggars or explorers. Right now the women are right, it’s time to stand up and out and be men. And that means not agreeing with the current bullshit trends AND working to address the issues that women, in their way, are putting out there in the world.

The Opportunistic Drumbeat of the Cowardly

Shit. And I really liked their razors.

Don’t tell me about being cowardly. I know it. Been there, done that! I’m just grateful that I have some good friends around me that value me enough to check me and challenge me if they see me behaving in a cowardly manner. I’m also grateful for having done enough work on myself that I’m aware, at least at times, that I behave like a coward, so that I can change. Good for me, good for everyone.

Oh, you don’t think this add is cowardly? Ooops, my bad.

Do the men in your life matter to you? Even if they’ve been so well trained that they don’t realize they matter and instead become parrots to the popular un-examined dialogue. Is that what you want? A Parrot? Because that’s what you’re creating and when I say “you’re” I mean the Royal “You’re”. The “You’re” that includes anyone who thinks that this add is a net positive rather than a net negative.

This Gillette add, this single example in a sea of sentiment about how Toxic Masculinity is the real problem, is a net negative, which means it’s actually the thing that is toxic. Yes. The message that Masculinity is toxic, is actually the real toxin. And if you’re supporting that message, you are spreading the toxicity.

You don’t have to believe me. But if you have a son or daughter who you care about, I challenge you to challenge yourself to find the real toxicity so that it can be addressed and so that healing and change can occur. Of course you have to want change and healing to occur, rather than primal punishment.

No, you say. It’s Toxic Masculinity that’s the problem! Not interested in examining what that means for your sons and daughters. Ok. It’s your life and your burden to pass to your kids. But to the strong women and solid men, to the courageous ones, to the ones who know there’s something deeply and fundamentally wrong with this message:

You’re Not Alone.

And to the boys and girls: You are not toxic and your brother does not have poison inside him. No matter what anyone says, your parents are confused and afraid and angry, do not believe them. There are pains in the world, there is injustice and unfairness and violence, sometimes things don’t make any sense. But always remember, children, that it’s only your behavior that can hurt and that you choose your behavior, you yourself are not poison. You are not poison. So behave in a kind way towards people and when you hurt them, apologize and learn. And forgive your parents.

Elan Mudrow

Smidgens

Bitter Gertrude

Blogging about Theatre and Culture since 2013

Engage!

Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Josep Goded

Seeking Truth

LYNCH

:to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal approval or permission

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